Coconut Creek Police Chief "Retires" After Controversial Taser Killing of Calvon Reid
Michael Mann, police chief of the Coconut Creek Police Department has resigned nearly three weeks after the controversial tasing death at the hands of police who did not have up-to-date certification to use Taser guns.
Mann, 60, been with the department for more than five years, called his departure a "retirement" and said in a statement that this decision was "for the good of the department."
The move came the same day CBS Miami reported that the officers who tased Calvon Reid, 39, on February 22, violated state law by not having proper certification to use Taser guns. In addition, the news station found that "a total of 82 officers -- nearly the entire Coconut Creek Police Department -- were not properly certified on the use of Tasers."
All this was revealed after the death of Calvon Reid, a 39-year-old black man who had been working as a meat salesman but was sometimes-homeless. According to police, Reid was spotted walking around the Wynmoor retirement community on February 22 at 1 am covered in blood and cuts.
According to the Sun-Sentinel:
Mann said Reid was "a little out of place, in his 30s" to be in a retirement community, it was 1 a.m., his clothes were torn and he was covered in blood. "For all we know he could have just killed somebody in Wynmoor," the chief said.
But when paramedics tried to offer assistance, Reid refused help and became "aggressive."
Police tried to detain Reid, who they claim continued to resist. That's when the Taser guns were deployed. Its unclear how many times Reid was tased, but four officers are under investigation and three of them did not have proper Taser certification.
Reid was taken to the hospital where he died two days later on February 24.
But it wasn't until two weeks later that Mann addressed the death of a man who died while in his police department's custody, leading to a feeling that police were attempting to cover-up their actions.
That's how Reid's mother feels.
"I do feel there is a cover-up," said Mamie Reid, who lives in South Carolina. "I do feel that if he had died under the conditions we were told, it should be public knowledge."
According to a witnesses interviewed by CBS Miami, Reid may have been handcuffed when he was tazed:
"[Reid] kept yelling out, `Baby, help!' And `Baby!' and `They're going to kill me!'" recalled Bonnie Eshleman, who watched the affair unfold outside her window at the Wynmoor condos.
Eshleman and her fiancé, John Arendale, said it appeared Reid may have been Tasered while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
TicketsSun., Oct. 22, 1:00pm
Florida Panthers vs Anaheim Ducks
TicketsThu., Oct. 26, 7:30pm
Florida Panthers vs Detroit Red Wings
TicketsSat., Oct. 28, 7:00pm
Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning
TicketsMon., Oct. 30, 7:30pm
Florida Panthers vs Columbus Blue Jackets
TicketsThu., Nov. 2, 7:30pm
The state attorney will conduct a investigation of Reid's death.
But Reid's death isn't the first controversy for the Coconut Creek police this year. In January, the Florida Bulldog reported that back in January, "between 2010 and 2012 the Coconut Creek Police botched 82 criminal cases involving disturbing reports about children who were raped and abused and seniors who were neglected or exploited."
And Reid's death isn't the first controversial Taser inciddent in recent memory. The Bulldog also reported that back in 2013, a Coconut Creek cop tasered a 19-year-old he was interrogating in a bathtub. Apparently, the department didn't feel the need to update their Taser certifications at that point
That cop, James Yacobellis, was fired recently after getting a massage at a spa that police said was really a brothel.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.